Traditionally, the legal sector has been hesitant to adapt to digital ways of working. For too long, legal chambers have been reliant on paper documents, but growing pressures on businesses in all industries to go paperless is slowly changing the way these firms work.
Modern technology has paved the way for law firms to adopt paperless practices, and many use professional document scanning to save time and resources. However, the introduction of GDPR caused a major overhaul in the way these firms handle data. So could data protection laws impact technological advancement in the legal sector? When it comes to document scanning, the answer is not straightforward.
Paperless working and the legal sector
Going paperless has become an increasing concern for law firms, and it’s not hard to see why. Having access to documents anytime, anywhere saves firms on resources and enables flexible ways of working.
Storing data files digitally also allows the industry to catch up with other sectors who predominantly work online. Going paperless is no easy feat, but now that this work is underway, many firms are reaping the benefits.
What’s the impact of GDPR?
Under GDPR rules, strict policies and processes need to be in place to ensure client data is protected. The consequences of breaking GDPR guidance are severe, with firms standing to lose millions of pounds as a result.
While there are many obvious risks associated with paper records, digitisation carries its own set of issues, meaning stringent procedures need to be put in place to avoid firms breaking compliance or being targets or cybercrime.
Could professional document scanning be the answer?
In 2018, the legal sector was criticised for failing to adopt digital transformation. However, the advent of professional document scanning has helped firms to bridge the gap without firms worrying about compliance – or so they think.
Those adopting this practice are already seeing improved accuracy and shorter lead times to find documents, along with improved efficiency when working on cases. As client demand for faster, more accurate responses is growing, professional document scanning can be one way to meet your workload and deadlines without investing in more staff.
However, professional document scanning does have its downsides. For one, entrusting your private data to another firm carries obvious risks, so you need to make sure you’re working with a company you can trust. The firm you use should be ISO Accredited, a certified Regulated Handler of Data and compliant with current GDPR.
Email security is another consideration when you’re sending data to a third-party. You need to make sure you have the right security processes in place to make sure documents are transferred securely from one person to another. One solution is to use a firm that offers a secure web-hosted platform for all communications and uses encrypted hard drives.
All of these considerations can be a lot for a law firm to take on alongside their day-to-day client work. Working with a technology firm that specialises in the legal industry will ensure you remain compliant with GDPR in all your practices, and that your systems remain protected.
If you have any concerns about GDPR compliance or data security, contact us by calling 020 3355 7334 to speak to one of our specialists.